DS Exclusive: Ken Casey talks new Dropkick Murphys album

DS Exclusive: Ken Casey talks new Dropkick Murphys album

It’s a little bit staying power, a little bit commercial acceptance and a lot of hard work that has made the Dropkick Murphys a household name around the world. Or at least they are in my house. Ken Casey talked to me from Boston, about what fans can expect from the new, upcoming Dropkick Murphys album, the love punch and the empty box test.

Read the full interview here.

Whatever emotion that the name Dropkick Murphys evokes with an individual there is no denying that they are one of, if not, the most popular celtic punk bands in the world. It might have something to do with six full-length albums, a swag of live albums, EPs, the fact that there was a time you could find them on most punk compilations that you could get your hands on or it could all be because of the success of their song “Shipping Up To Boston.” In Australia, the tune was used as the anthem for the Australian Football League.

Ken had no problems with the use of their song in a game that is the lifeblood of many Australians. “I’ve watched a few games. It’s always funny watching Aussies fight over which is better, AFL , NRL, or Union. Any game where people tackle each other is ok with me”.

The band’s next tour will be down under for the No Sleep Til festival and while they wait the band are in Boston recording their new album with Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem). Ken is usually responsible for the Dropkicks albums but Hutt was enlisted to take some of the burden. “I’m sick and tired of being in the studio for 16 hours a day. It’s allowed me to be working a lot more on the creative end. A lot of production stuff is logistics and making sure the job is done on budget and getting it in on time, I don’t want to have to wear that hat so it’s nice to have the help of someone else.”

“Ted’s been really great with creating a great atmosphere to write. Just by the nature of how we work, a lot of the time the lyricists are off writing lyrics and guitar players are writing their parts and often they don’t know what the songs about until they hear it in the studio. This has been everyone in on it together, a lot more than ever, which is a good feeling, you know?”

While many older fans didn’t take to their last album, “The Meanest of Times,” it would appear that with Ken left to focus on the creative aspects, the new album will have a different vibe than much of their other work. “It already has a totally different feel, it’s totally us, but it has a different feel because I’ve been the guy that’s always said ‘shouldn’t you know what the song means to me if I’m writing the lyrics and you’re writing the music?’ It wasn’t like there was a division in the writing but people felt that ‘this is my strength, that is his strength, let’s work on our strengths’ and I think that doesn’t mean you can’t do it together.”

The band have used their extended break to collaborate more in the writing process, and there are other factors that have changed their approach. “I think, more than anything, the last couple of albums have had the most tragic deaths surround the band and we were writing about a lot of real life stuff and obviously real life isn’t always pleasant. I guess it made for some songs that were very heartfelt and very emotional, that were very poignant, that mattered a lot to us but on the other hand I’m hoping I won’t have to be writing any more of those soon, so I kind of made a conscience effort to just make this album be a positive party, happy vibe.”

“You don’t always capture what you shoot out to do but life is good and we’re happy. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make you want to punch someone in the face, it just makes you want to punch them in the face in a happy way.” So it’s easy to expect to want to give the person next to you in the pit a bit of a love punch to the new songs, in the nicest way possible of course.

Playing No Sleep Til next on their tour calendar will put them on the same bill as Megadeth amongst other metal bands, however the band have a test to discover just how metal the crowd really is. “We’ve played beside metal bands at festivals in Europe. We put this box in the middle of the festival grounds. The punk kids usually walk straight past it like ‘meh, whatever, a box’ but the metal kids will smash it till there’s nothing left. It’s quite entertaining to watch.”

Dropkicks will hit Australia in December for the No Sleep Til festival series and the new album is expected for release in February 2011. Get ready to get your jivin’ love punch on!

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